That’s it for the training. Three runs this week: Monday, Tuesday (with gloves, hat and stinging hailstones) and Wednesday (wait for the hailstones to finish, go out and get caught in more of them).
In all, only 10 miles (16km) but getting faster – Tuesday’s was a p.b. at 5.23 per km (8.37 per mile). Wednesday’s was faster still at 5.13 per km (8.24 per mile).
I seem to have managed not to twist an ankle, break a leg, pull a muscle or tear a cartilage in these last few days so it’s off to Rotterdam to see what awaits on the run itself.
It feels like I’ve done a lot of training over the 20 weeks – exactly 450 miles of running (a pleasingly round number) with – I think – 14 runs over 10 miles, including 3 over 20 miles. I have missed out on what would have been really helpful interval and hill sessions because I’m pretty sure my Achilles tendons would not have been able to withstand the extra stresses those would have caused. If I’d have done them I might now be more hopeful of a decent time – but I’d have risked not being able to run at all.
I’ve been a little tempted to go out for one more longer run – but I appreciate that is likely to be counter-productive so I’ll resist. Instead I’ll just go through the normal process of worrying if I’ve done enough training. Happily there are plenty of other things to agonise over too – what do I wear, what do I eat the night before, what do I have for breakfast, what do I eat on the run, do I try to go with the 4 hour pacemaker? It’s an angst-fest.
The rest of the preparation hasn’t been too difficult so far – I don’t drink alcohol Monday to Thursday (and will go very easy on Friday and Saturday this week, if I have any at all) and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables anyway. I’ve cut down on the coffee a little in favour of water and green tea and always sleep more than 8 hours so I’ve not had to change too much.
Without trying to diet, my weight is down to 66.5kg (a fraction under 147 pounds, 10.5 stone) but I won’t track that from here – it’s more important to eat the right stuff in the last few days than think about weight.
The weather forecasts started to to converge and are now diverging again. On average, Sunday in Rotterdam looks likely to be dry, not too windy and reasonably cool – perhaps around 9℃ (48℉) at the start, warming to about 13℃ (55℉) by a likely finish time. I’ll settle for that.
Although I’m now running faster, it’s over short distances and I don’t see any reason to assume I can now run under 4 hours (I think 4 hours would be my qualifying time for this year’s Chicago Marathon so it’s not surprising that it’s tough). Conventional wisdom says a sub 4 hour marathoner should post a 1h 50 half in the training – my best has been 2h 05.
For me, the most important outcome from the marathon is for my son, Alex, to break 4 hours.
After that, in ascending order of ambition, my targets are to get around:
- safely, running all the way
- sub 4h 30min
- sub 4h 15min.
|1||16m (26km)||10m (16 km)||2:00|
|2||19m (30km)||13m (22km)||2:00|
|3||21m (33.km)||66m (106km)||1:00|
|4||22m (36km)||14m (22km)||1:00|
|5||24m (39km)||13m (21km)||1:00|
|6 (Christmas)||13m (21km)|
|7||26m (41km)||63m (101km)||3:00|
|8||14m (24km)||13m (21km)||7:00|
|9 (Skiing)||16m (25km)||12:00|
|11 (Skiing)||7m (11km)||6:00|
|12||34m (55km)||35m (56km)||1:00|
|13||38m (60km)||14m (22km)||1:00|
|14||38m (60km)||30m (48km)||1:00|
|15||39m (63km)||14m (22km)|
|16||42m (67km)||10m (16km)||1:00|
|17||33m (53km)||9m (15km)|
|18 (New York)||20m (31km)||4:00|
|‘Running’ totals||450m (724km)||290m (466km)||56:00|